Why Is My Furnace Leaking on the Floor?

image of a furnace repair

Some surprises are unwelcome, especially when they involve our home appliances. Sometimes, we forget that even the most reliable appliances will break down or malfunction. And sometimes, they break down in the most inopportune moment. The last thing you want to happen is coming home to find your furnace leaking water. Although this is a fairly common issue, it is never welcome. A furnace leak happens for a number of reasons and when you are faced with this problem, you need to do something about it immediately.

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Reasons For Furnace Leaks

Leaking is caused by certain factors, depending on the age, location, and use of the equipment. Another important factor to remember is the type of furnace being used. A high-efficiency furnace, for example, will function differently from a conventional furnace.

Let’s take a look at the different reasons why your furnace is leaking.

Clogging Or Condensation In The Furnace

An important component of a high-efficiency furnace is a cool exhaust. This part produces condensate, which is a natural byproduct of burning fuel. Condensate is eliminated through a drain pipe that releases the moisture onto the drain on the floor.

Over time, the drain pipe becomes clogged. Any condensate that should pass through the pipe will back up. The water will find a way out and that way out is likely the furnace itself. This could lead to a bigger problem.

Conventional furnaces, on the other hand, are not supposed to leak water because they are designed differently. However, a conventional furnace that is older than 15 years could also begin to leak if its pipe is improperly sized. Water will then begin draining back into the unit.

When a leak happens, do not wait. Call a professional HVAC technician immediately and do not attempt to repair the unit yourself.

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Broken Condensate Pump Or Damaged Condensation Line

image of an old furnace

High-efficiency furnaces produce condensate as a byproduct of their operations. This fluid drains through a condensate line. If this line becomes damaged or broken, the water will leak out.

Many of today’s furnaces feature a condensation pump. It works by pumping the condensate out of the unit to keep it dry. If this component is damaged or malfunctions, a leak could occur.

Humidifier Issues

In some cases, the humidifier is causing the problem. We often install a humidifier indoors when weather conditions are dry and we want to be more comfortable.

Water is often added to the humidifier, which then processes it to produce condensate. If the humidifier malfunctions, such as when the container is broken, water could leak out. If the device itself has a crack, expect water to leak out of it as well. If, however, the water leaks back into the furnace itself, then the issue is likely more complicated.

Again, do not try to fix the problem yourself, regardless of how simple it may seem. The furnace is a sensitive and complex piece of equipment and should only be diagnosed and repaired by a trained and licensed HVAC technician. Even if your furnace gets a checkup every year, make sure to ask the technician to pay particular attention to the humidifier if a leak occurs.

The Air Conditioner Is Malfunctioning

air conditioner in snow

In winter, the A/C unit is probably the last thing we worry about. However, if you happen to live in an area where using the cooling shystem is still necessary, you might want to check if the leak is coming out of the A/C.

Air conditioners are designed to absorb moisture found in the air. It then converts the moisture into condensate. The fluid is drained through a tube and onto a drain pan which is usually found outdoors. If there is a leak or clog in the tube or pan and water leaks out, you might think that the furnace is having problems.

To truly diagnose the problem, call a professional technician to get your furnace and air conditioner inspected. A professional will do a better job at diagnosing and fixing the issue, and ensuring that the correct solution is applied.

When Should I Have My Furnace Filter Replaced?

senior man changing a dirty air filter in a furnace

Yes, the furnace filter has to be replaced regularly. The filter traps dirt and other particulates. Over time, it will accumulate enough particulates to cause clogging. Make sure to check the HVAC filter every month to determine its condition. If it is clogged, have it cleaned or replaced. This will ensure that it remains efficient in reducing the number of pollutants indoors and also help prolong the life of your furnace.

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What To Do When There Is A Furnace Leak

If you notice a leak, call your local HVAC technician right away. A simple leak may be caused by a major issue. If you wait longer, the problem could worsen and cost more to repair. Leaks are a symptom of a problem but they can also cause problems on their own. Water leaks, for example, can damage other parts and components, and also cause issues with the floors and walls. Even if you do not see a leak, take note of changes near your furnace or A/C, such as dampness, discoloration, and mold or mildew growth.

Prior to the professional technician’s visit to your home, do the following:

  • Turn off the furnace system. You could either turn off the switch or disconnect the breaker
  • Mop up any water that has pooled around the furnace base
  • If the filter is dirty, have it replaced
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A furnace leak may make you feel anxious but don’t worry. You have the support and expertise of a professional technician to rely on. Leave issues such as a leak to the professionals and avoid a stressful situation. Better yet, look for an HVAC contractor who is experienced and has a good track record to fix the problem for you. A reliable HVAC company is capable of making the right diagnosis of the problem and implementing the correct solutions in a timely manner. Also, to prevent avoidable HVAC issues, be sure to schedule a furnace tune-up.

Call Point Bay Fuel For All Of Your HVAC Requirements


Point Bay Fuel offers superior heating and cooling services in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Our certified technicians can provide you with excellent HVAC services, including heating and cooling tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each technician has outstanding knowledge and experience to serve your HVAC system needs correctly, the first time around.

Point Bay Fuel guarantees to provide the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services ensure to improve your comfort, increase your system’s energy efficiency, and reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Need your system repaired or replaced? We’ll recommend the best solution that works well within your budget. The best part is, all our work is backed with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction.

If you wish to schedule a service appointment, give us a call today!

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